We join thousands of Louisianans in mourning the death of David F. Dixon, the French Quarter businessman and civic leader who long ago earned the title "Father of the Superdome." A visionary and humanitarian, Dixon conceived of building the world's largest domed stadium in downtown New Orleans and using it to attract an NFL franchise. He convinced then-Gov. John McKeithen to back the idea and, with the governor's help, the tireless Dixon saw his dream through to reality. Indeed, in many ways, Dave Dixon was the father of the dome as well as the Saints.
In addition to helping New Orleans land the Saints franchise, the Superdome completely transformed downtown New Orleans. It led to the widening of Poydras Street and established it as a commercial thoroughfare; it jump-started the city's boom in tourism and convention business; and it brought six Super Bowls (with another scheduled for 2013), several collegiate basketball championship games, and the 1988 Republican National Convention. Above all, it gave New Orleanians a mighty symbol of civic pride. After Hurricane Katrina, rebuilding the Superdome became the city's top priority.
In addition to his civic work, Dixon devoted himself to charitable causes. While those efforts did not bring him nearly as much attention as fathering the Superdome, he said in 1990 that he hoped to be remembered "as a person who worked for the brotherhood of man in his autumn years. Nothing, I sincerely believe, is more important than that."
Dave Dixon will be remembered for many reasons, all of them reflecting his love for New Orleans.